Employee Benefits in the UK
Mandatory Employee Benefits in the United Kingdom:Pension:
- Employers must offer a pension scheme to all employees within three months of starting work. Employees have the option to join or decline.
- Employers are required to contribute a minimum of 3%, and employees must contribute at least 5%, resulting in a total minimum contribution of 8%.
- Employees are automatically re-enrolled every three years if they’ve previously opted out.
- All employees with at least 26 weeks of employment can legally request flexible working arrangements.
- Flexible options include job sharing, working from home, part-time, flex time, compressed hours, staggered hours, and annualized hours.
- Employers must respond within three months and assess the request reasonably, considering pros and cons. Refusal is allowed with a valid business reason.
Non-Mandatory Employee Benefits in the United Kingdom:
Cycle to Work Scheme
Employers can provide tax-free access to bikes and accessories through government-approved providers.
Private Healthcare Plan
Employers commonly offer healthcare insurance, covering 70%-100% of the cost, sometimes extending coverage to employees’ immediate family.
Dental & Vision Plan
Companies frequently cover 70%-100% of dental and vision plan expenses.
Employers can provide a tax-free allowance of £26 per month to employees working from home, in addition to tax-free home office equipment allowances. Note: Tax relief doesn’t apply outside of COVID-19-related remote work.
Sick Leave & Disability Protection Insurance:
Companies often provide comprehensive sickness coverage, including:
- Company sick pay from day one to week 10, covering 80%-100% of the base salary.
- Company sick pay from week 11 to week 26, covering 50%-70% of the salary.
- From week 27 onwards, employees receive 40%-60% of their salary.
- Employers continue contributions to the group pension plan.
Additional Pension Contribution
Many employers contribute beyond the statutory minimum to pension funds, offering various schemes like defined benefit and defined contribution options.
Standard life insurance coverage provided by companies is typically £500,000.
Full Pay Paternity Leave
Employees are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave with statutory pay of £172.48 or 90% of their average weekly wage (whichever is lower). However, many companies choose to offer full pay during paternity leave.
Interest-Free Travel Loan
Employers can offer interest-free loans of up to £10,000 to employees during any tax year.
Business travel-related fuel costs can be reimbursed, with varying rates based on mileage.
Some companies include gym memberships as an employee benefit.
Many companies provide counseling services or Employment Assistance Programmes (EAP) to all employees.
Some companies reward long-serving staff with additional vacation days.
Income protection policies typically pay a percentage (60%-80%) of an employee’s monthly income if they become physically unable to work after the Statutory Sick Pay period ends, usually one to six months following the illness.